As reported in Computerworld, The New York Times,
and elsewhere, a report based in part on input from 13 different countries suggests, among other things, that open standards would improve responses to disasters such as last December's tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, and states that government policies should "mandate technology choice, not software development models."
The report defines open standards, which it distinguishes from open source, based on six elements including the nature of its control, evolution, and availability, and explains how propriety software can exist within an open standards environment.
A road map aimed at guiding governments and companies in the development of open information and communication technologies was presented Friday at a World Bank meeting in New York by a group that included academics, government officials and industry representatives. The Open ePolicy Group contends that the adoption of open standards is vital to global economic growth and innovation.
"Responding agencies and nongovernmental groups are unable to share information vital to the rescue effort," the report recalls of the government in Thailand in the tsunami's immediate aftermath. "Each uses different data and document formats. Relief is slowed; coordination is complicated. The need for common, open standards for disaster management was never more stark or compelling."
So this is not just about economic growth and innovation. It's about survival.
Here's hoping we'll heed these lessons before the next major disaster strikes.
For more information, review and download the complete 33-page Roadmap for Open ICT Ecosystems
Oh, and speaking of open standards, if you haven't yet done so, check out Bob Sutor's latest dW blog, Your move to SOA should be a move to open.
One notable news item last week amidst the many announcements and events at the Rational conference certainly fits the theme of this blog:
The Open Group today announced an industry-wide effort with the support of IBM to promote the use of open standards to give information technology customers freedom of choice and provide interoperability among all vendors.
The âDeveloper Declaration of Independenceâ calls for the adoption and protection of open standards by corporations, governments, organizations, and individuals to ensure a fair competitive marketplace â thus allowing all parties to compete equally from the basis of a shared technology foundation and framework. The Open Group has published the Declaration at http://www.opengroup.org/declaration/ and is asking supporters to visit the web site where they can sign it.
I for one was happy to see IBM take a public position in support of such a declaration. And I encourage you to join thousands of your peers and pledge your support of open standards
We just launched a new weekly podcast that discusses the latest content on developerWorks. "This Week on developerWorks
" is co-hosted by yours truly and Podcast Editor Scott Laningham, and will include dW editors, authors, and other guests.
We welcome your feedback and suggestions. We're also looking into adding a "question of the week." So if you have any questions for us to consider, please post 'em here as comments.[Read More
A new article on developerWorks, Standards and specs: Naturally occurring standards
, aptly describes the nature of de facto standards, compares them to open standards, and offers advice on how to navigate when you encounter de facto standards. I especially liked these tidbits:
If you're considering getting into a field where there's a proprietary de facto standard, be aware that the vendor who controls that standard has no economic reason to make it easy for you to participate.
Support the existing formats, but make your own open, and market pressure may give you an excellent opportunity to make inroads. You may rest assured that users are not currently thinking to themselves, "I want the next product I buy to lock me in to a proprietary format forever."
Definitely worth a read for those of us who focus on open standards.[Read More
One important open technology today is grid computing. developerWorks has an entire section
devoted to grid. Also of note is the World Community Grid
, designed to support humanitarian research that might otherwise not be completed due to the high cost of the computer infrastructure required in the absence of a public grid. Members can contribute to individual research projects by donating unused computer time. The forums
also encourage member-to-member support with grid-related issues.
Also of note: Last week IBM announced the Grid Scholars Challenge
. University students can participate by creating an innovative grid open standards architecture proposal, evaluating an existing grid standard or making a prototype implementation or improvement to an open source grid implementation for services, middleware components, or application development. University students in the United States and Canada, check it out. You might end up with a new ThinkPad.[Read More
Here's a good example of the benefit of open, standards-based environments -- which in this case make it quick and easy to both develop and adopt an enhancement to an existing application:
Want to have easy access to developerWorks? You can now add our new search plugin to your Firefox browser (thanks to our own Peter Yim). Simply go to a developerWorks search results page such as this
, and you'll see the following at the top of the page:
Add dW search plug-in to Firefox
Just click on the link while using Firefox, then confirm by clicking OK, and instantly the developerWorks search engine will be added to your browser's search bar. Then you can easily search all of developerWorks for helpful technical content and resources -- without having to first go to the dW Web site.
If you try it and it works well for you, you might also consider visiting the mozdev.org site (which also lets you find and install this search plugin, as well as others), where you can "Judge it!"
This is a nice complement to our "add dW feeds to your site" feature (which I discussed last week).
Another sign of the power of Linux and open source: Solaris, one of the most popular commerical flavors of Unix, will be available under an open source license, Sun Microsystems confirmed recently. See the InfoWorld
article "Sun to open source Solaris
Interestingly, the article (which happens to be authored by a colleague from my days at IDG, Bob McMillan) notes that quite recently, "Sun's Chief Executive Officer Scott McNealy was claiming that it would make little sense for Sun to freely release such a valuable asset."
I wonder to what degree McNealy still steers the Sun ship these days, given this turnabout, as well as the recent 180-degree turnaround in Sun's relationship with Microsoft. (See the related CNet
article "Can Sun-Microsoft cease-fire halt the war?
If you haven't yet heard about the efforts to bring an open-source approach to patents that will improve their quality, I encourage you to read Irving Wladawsky-Berger's related blog entry, "Improving Patent Quality as a Community
," which aptly describes this initiative, which "bring the spirit of collaborative innovation to the really difficult challenge of improving the quality of patents." The three elements of the patent quality initiative:
- Open Patent Review will establish an open, collaborative community review in the patenting process. The project will use regularly scheduled USPTO email alerts with links to newly-published patent applications as a way to invite the public review and feedback on prior art.
- Open Source Software as Prior Art -- the Open Source Development Lab, along with IBM, Novell, Red Hat and SourceForge, are developing an electronic system to store open source software code in a searchable format. The system will enable patent examiners and the public to review the code and identify prior art.
- The Patent Quality Index evaluates if a patent meets the standards of patentability determined by patent law. The Index, which will rank patent applications based on their clarity and substance, also will serve as a best practice tool for patent applications, holders and examiners.
See also Bob Sutor's related blog entry
(hosted on developerWorks), which boasts a rich collection of links to related articles and blogs. You may also want to read about the Community Patent Project
I'm excited to see my lineup of podcast interviews during the Rational Software Development Conference June 1-5
. I'm also happy to offer the dW community (that's you
, dear reader) the opportunity to submit questions for me to ask of these VIPs, who'll be sitting down with me for interviews during RSDC.
This week I'm continuing to focus on questions for Steve Mills, and also particularly looking for questions for both IBM fellow Grady Booch and Rational Software GM Danny Sabbah. Please share your questions for Steve, Grady, and Danny![Read More]
Robert LeBlanc, General Manager of IBM's WebSphere division, is giving a keynote at JavaOne
today (starting just about now) focused on the importance on open source and open standards development with Java. I regret I'm missing it myself (stuck on the East Coast this week); fortunately, thanks to Rawn Shah and Andy Dean, I got the scoop on what he's presenting today: A demonstration of how aspect-oriented programming can be applied to existing code to add open source software components.
The demo, created by Matthew Webster in IBM's Hursley Lab in the UK, highlights the concept of remixing existing projects with new features and add-ons to introduce creative variations on a project that's close to our hearts here at dW: Robocode
Robocode originated on our alphaWorks site
, and has since become a popular open source project on SourceForge.net
. It's a battle-bots type of game where you can program your robots to compete in an arena against those of created by your peers.
The trick here is the use of the Eclipse Foundation's AspectJ project
applied to RoboCode to add new features to robots without needing to change each robot's source code. The demo took a basic IBM robot and created three different versions using new features that are each encapsulated as an aspect
. The audience got to see the source code and watch Matthew navigate between aspects and affected classes using the views provided by the AJDT plug-in, which provides full AspectJ support within Eclipse.
The project has been enhanced, with sound effects for a kids' version and more aggressive battling tactics to build a version for teens. Finally, the project added enterprise JMX management capabilities to allow budding executives to monitor and direct their robots using a Web interface: they like to be in control!
The idea of using AspectJ to add new enterprise capabilities to an open source component to allow better integration is very interesting. As more solutions are built from open source components, the ability to apply a smart integration glue across different components will become increasingly important. This is Lawrence Lessig's Remix Culture
come alive in a new way within software.
Aside from all the important details, RoboCode is just plain fun. It has been aptly described as "a fun and challenging way to learn object-oriented programming," and as "particularly effective for grabbing the attention of teenage boys." I encourage boys -- and girls -- of all ages to check it out
Today IBM announced the winners of the 2011 Beacon Awards
, including an award for the "Most Innovative Use of developerWorks to Drive Business Results
." The awards honored two companies, winner SunBay AG and finalist Cohesive Flexible Technologies. Congrats to both!
SunBay won based on its multifaceted use of developerWorks to improve collaboration with 30 people across IBM Switzerland and IBM France, keeping everyone in the loop to streamline Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE) Framework validation. SunBay tapped the broad array of community social features in dW, including message boards, activities, blogs, files, bookmarks, and the iPhone app to support their business. The results included not only being quickly verified as meeting the IBM SPDE Framework requirements, but also a strong pipeline of joint IBM-SunBay customers.
CohesiveFT used the developerWorks publishing system, working with our professional editorial team to craft a relevant how-to article about cloud computing, entitled "Deliver cloud network control to the user: See how using a virtual network can put the customer in control of cloud networking". The article led to multiple sales leads (and reduced pre-sale inquiries and sales lead time) and several speaking engagements. CohesiveFT also employed a private developerWorks group to help create multiple sales leads as well as enhance collaboration between development and product management teams.
IBM partners -- and all IT businesses and individuals -- can benefit from developerWorks and our community by using our social business tools to better communicate and collaborate, privately as well as publicly. We offer not only a rich collection of how-to articles and tutorials, not only answers to your questions and input from experts via our blogs and discussion forums. Our broad set of community features let you create, communicate, collaborate, innovate -- in short, developerWorks community features are ready to help you embrace social business -- and thus help individuals, groups and partners alike drive business results.
At the big alphaWorks 10th Anniversary party
today, quite a bit is happening. Including a big announcement and demos from people like Marc Goubert, manager of alphaWorks, and Rod Smith, vice president of emerging internet technology and IBM Fellow.
Details will be made available here soon after the announcement happens. Stay tuned.
Meantime, check out the related podcast interviews, including:
See also my earlier entry about the alphaWorks birthday -- and developerWorks birthday.[Read More]
Modified on by Michael_OConnell
This past weekend I met quite a few bloggers at a conference in Chapel Hill, NC. The Triangle Bloggers Conference
drew more than 100 attendees on a Saturday morning -- quite a feat, I'd say! And I for one valued the discussion. A big thanks to Anton Zuiker (my onetime UNC grad school classmate) and Paul Jones (who continues to teach me and many others), as well as the many others who made the conference happen and made it a success.
Others have written quite a bit about the event -- for a good collection of links to much more comprehensive coverage, see http://mistersugar.com/tamtam/blogtogether/show/live+blogging+the+conference
For me, some notable tidbits (food for thought) included:
- the concept of the long tail (See also longtail.typepad.com.) Seems there may be a sweet spot between spam and loneliness that is blogs, or community, or ... well, better than spam and loneliness.
- applying ethics to building traffic and community (and how that relates to the nature of content, link trades, ads, e-mail, etc.)
- the impact of size or scale on the nature and degree of moderation
- the importance of an "About" page
- the relationship between the amount -- and relevance -- of comments and their visibility
- critical thinking ... the reminder that literacy is (increasingly) more than being able to read
- the relationship between (and integration of) blogs and mainstream media
- the characterization of a newspaper's letters to the editor as a conversation of the community; similar to comments in a blog
- open source journalism; iterative development or refinement of reports; blogs as organic processing systems
- Two book recommendations: A Fire Upon the Deep and Bloom
While this may not neatly fit into the team of this blog, blogs do provide a new standard form of communication, and certainly rely on technology standards. Many deliver a great degree of openness via user comments and free and easy access. Thus, I'll be discussing related issues occasionally in this space. And I look forward to more frequent discussions with other bloggers in the Triangle.
Meanwhile, I always welcome your thoughts on how developerWorks and IBM can improve its blogs and better serve the community.[Read More
At the alphaWorks 10-year anniversary celebration today, IBM unveiled aW's next big thing: alphaWorks Services.
Details are now available on the aW site.
alphaWorks Services extends alphaWorks beyond a place to download emerging technologies. Now you can also leverage the software-as-a-service delivery model at alphaWorks. Now developers, businesses and universities can easily
access emerging technologies over the Internet directly from IBM R&D labs, and provide real-time feedback to help shape these technologies -- and the future.
We at IBM see alphaWorks Services as benefiting both the community and IBM. For IBM, alphaWorks services serves as a tool that will help IBM respond quickly to changing business needs and requirements, and in turn, deliver higher quality software to the marketplace. For early adopters and innovators, alphaWorks Services will let organizations adopting these cutting-edge technologies more quickly, and make it easier to collaboratively innovate.
As part of today's announcement, aW offers its first technologies to be offered as a service:
- Ad hoc Development and Integration tool for End Users (ADIEU) is a simplified online tool for rapid collaborative development of Web apps and Web services. It lets you develop applications in an environment designed for non-programmers. (Example: create a Web service in a matter of minutes that will deliver stock quote information as an RSS or Atom feed.)
- Web Relational Blocks (WebRB) is a visual web-based tool that lets you easily build enterprise Web applications through a simple browser interface. Components are dragged and dropped onto the canvas and then wired together to visually assemble the GUI. (Example: rapidly develop and deploy web-based e-commerce applications such as a shopping site by simply adding the store features through the drag-and-drop mechanism.)
- Deep Thunder provides local, high-resolution weather predictions. For many businesses, such as transportation agencies or supply chain companies, expected local weather conditions are critical factors in planning operations and making effective decisions. Companies can use weather predictions from this tool to collaborate with other organizations and plan accordingly.
It's great to see the continued innovation from alphaWorks ... to see aW itself adopting of new concepts and technologies. Services are a big deal not just for alphaWorks, but across all of IBM -- and across many of today's businesses, too. In the coming weeks and months, look for more info and resources related to services -- as well as SOA (service-oriented architecture) -- from alphaWorks and developerWorks.
Meanwhile, give these new alphaWorks Services a try.[Read More]
Check out the new software components and documentation for the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture (CBEA) technology. The collection of tools and quick start guides let software developers create, build, simulate, and test applications to run on the new Cell processor. See:
See also related press coverage form Reuters
In case you have yet to learn about Cell, here's a short overview excerpted from a recent dW article
Cell, which was developed by IBM, Sony, and Toshiba, is best known as the engine that powers PlayStation 3, Sony's next-generation gaming console that is scheduled to debut next spring. However, gaming is just one application -- each of the three companies has big plans for this revolutionary new technology based on the Power Architecture technology.
It's great to see these developer tools and resources available, and we're glad alphaWorks and developerWorks can help to provide 'em. Enjoy.
IBM today announced it has purchased BuildForge, a leading provider of build and release management software.
Rational VP Roger Oberg concisely describes the deal in an InfoWorld
/IDG News Service article:
BuildForge is "a very natural complement" to what IBM customers are already using Rational for, according to Roger Oberg, vice president for Rational marketing and strategy at IBM. He pointed out that IBM didn't previously have its own build-management software, and that it was already a strong user of BuildForge's products internally for building software suites. IBM also intends to maintain BuildForge's "agnostic" approach, continuing support for non-IBM development tools as well as for Rational, Oberg added.
As noted in the related FAQ
Organizations are increasingly under pressure to deliver enterprise products and services faster. Development organizations are hard pressed to manage complex applications, coordinate globally distributed development and production teams while maintaining high software quality. Additionally, they are faced with the need to meet compliance mandates — either from external or internal pressures — that require complete traceability and audit trails that demand a new flexible development infrastructure. BuildForge products help clients accelerate software delivery, as well as meet audit and compliance mandates across distributed, cross-platform environments.
BuildForge products provide complete build and release process management. They provide a framework that helps development teams to standardize and automate tasks and share information. Build acceleration capabilities make the process fast, resulting in fast time-to-market. Enterprise reporting and analytics improve visibility into the build and release process. Process control and audit trails help meet compliance requirements. BuildForge products are designed to help clients deliver applications fast and in a compliant manner.
For more details, see the "IBM acquires BuildForge" announcement page
(which also links to the FAQ and the formal press release, as well as a case study).
You may also want to read some of the press coverage:
Today is my 10-year anniversary as an IBMer. I can't say I predicted this day 10 years ago. When I joined IBM in 1999 to help launch developerWorks as founding Editor-in-Chief, my skills and experience (an English major and Journalism minor, with years of experience not in engineering, but with print technology magazines and then pioneering in Web publishing with IDG's SunWorld Online
) hardly fit the mold of most IBM hires. But 10 years later, I am pleased to be able to celebrate this milestone -- and all the more pleased to do so via the new blogging environment in our just-launched My developerWorks
-- what ReadWriteWeb calls the world's geekiest social network
I'm also happy to see developerWorks now approaching its 10-year anniversary. (Look for more regarding developerWorks' 10th birthday in a few months.) I'm honored to continue to be a part of this terrific team of dW colleagues and this thriving community -- and pleased to see us extend our efforts again in 2009 with My developerWorks to more fully embrace the power of social computing and online communities.
Today Danny Sabbah, GM of IBM Rational Software, sent a note to IBMers that nicely summarizes a major milestone: The 5-year anniversary of Eclipse as an open source project. Here's an excerpt:
Over the last five years, we've seen Eclipse evolve from a platform for application development tools to a universal integration platform for building and deploying software worldwide, with IBM driving much of the progress. ...
Since this day in 2001, when IBM made available the source code for the Eclipse platform under an open source license at eclipse.org, Eclipse has grown to include 66 open source projects and is the basis for more than 1,300 products. According to IDC, Eclipse is the market leading Java IDE with 2.27 million users worldwide, which demonstrates a remarkable level of support for open source innovation and collaboration. The initial eclipse.org consortium grew quickly from an 8-member group including IBM and Rational Software, to today's 152-member-strong Eclipse Foundation. Java Development Tools (Java IDE) with its incremental compiler, the Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) and the Eclipse platform as a more general Rich Client Platform (RCP) are among the many innovations made possible by Eclipse.
Within SWG, Eclipse has been adopted as the open source development platform across all our brands, and today more than 100 IBM products [including Lotus Sametime 7.5, WebSphere Portal 6.0, the upcoming IBM Lotus Notes "Hannover" release, to name a few] are based on Eclipse.
(Thanks, Danny, for your permission to excerpt from your email.)
Indeed, Eclipse has had a tremendous impact in five short years. And developerWorks has been covering it all along, through for example the Eclipse section of the dW Open Source zone.
For more perspective, listen to my comments about the Eclipse anniversary in today's new "This week on developerWorks" podcast. Also worth a listen (and providing much useful context and details) are our earlier dW podcasts with John Kellerman about Eclipse.
Many people will be attending the Eclipse parties being held around the world today. If you miss the parties, you can sign the birthday card and read about the anniversary at the eclipse.org site.
As we head into the long 4th of July weekend in the U.S., I am pondering not only the declaration of independence that this country celebrates, but the concept of such declarations and their effectiveness in the realm of software development. We've seen a few manifestos, including one, The Cluetrain Manifesto
, that ended up getting published in book form. And last year the Open Group solicited signatures to a "Developer Declaration of Independence" (See my previous blog entry
While such efforts may seem modest in comparison to the shaping of a country and its sovereignty, they certainly can have a substantial impact. Consider how, for example, how Linux, Java, and World Wide Web standards such as HTML and XML have blazed the path for broad adoption of open, standards-based, cross-platform development in a software world that had previously been almost exclusively proprietary, with vendor lock-in the norm.
Consider this tidbit: Recently Evans Data Corp. reported
that "Java users are more likely to make use of open source software than non-Java users," suggesting Java has promoted open source. "Eighty percent of heavy Java users (using Java more than 50% of the time) and 73% of light Java users (less than 50% of the time) use open source software for development compared to less than 45% of non-Java developers. In addition, Java users have more confidence in Linux for mission critical applications with 80% having enough confidence to use it in such important deployments compared to less than 50% of non-Java users."
If you're enjoying time celebrating Independence Day this Monday, I encourage you to envision a similar day of independence for software, and specifically software developers and other technical professionals. A world where companies and individuals can use the tools and platforms because they work best, not
because they conform to an already-adopted proprietary platform or tool.
Know of any unheralded champions of open standards? New tools or products that may further the cause of developer independence? If so, please share your comments; I'd love to hear about it.
Whether you're attending the Rational Software Development Conference
or not, you may appreciate all the info about the conference in the developerWorks RSDC group blog
and the RSDC community space
. There you can get up to speed on all the Rational news and activities in Orlando this week. You'll even find podcasts with VIPs and execs, including Grady Booch
and Scott Ambler
, whom I interviewed Monday. And soon we'll post the audio of the RSDC keynotes, too. Check it out
A fledgling co-op is seeking to sign up big companies to its variation of open source, with members sharing their in-house software:Project Avalanche is putting a new spin on the coop concept -- rather than sharing health foods or vacation condos, members share intellectual property. For $30,000 a year, companies may donate any in-house software to the Avalanche library and may use, free of charge, any other software in the library's collection.
(KSL TV "Techbit," referencing a Wall Street Journal
Here's a noteworthy excerpt from the WSJ
article:Or, asks [Project Avalanche's brainchild, Andrew Black], what if Avalanche members collaborated on a foolproof collection of open-source programs that could be used on their corporate desktops instead of the Windows and Office combinations from Microsoft? Mr. Black grumbles about having to pay Microsoft hundreds of dollars a year per employee for programs like word processing and spreadsheets, which he says should be commodities by now.
On one hand, this suggests that even Fortune 500-type companies see the potential benefits of open source software. On the other hand, with a $30,000 annual fee, free software advocates no doubt Avalanche as a bit contrary to their vision.
For more details, see Ben Galbraith's java.net Weblog entry, http://weblogs.java.net/pub/wlg/1199
I've been tapped as a roving reporter for the upcoming Rational Software Development User Conference, aka RSDUC or RSDC
, and am looking forward to the event.
If anyone has any requests or sugggestions on what to be sure to cover (or what to skip), I'm all ears.[Read More
A new LinuxWorld article
includes interviews with five IBM Software Group executives, in which they discuss a range of strategic technologies, including on-demand computing
, the IBM Software Development Platform
, Java technology
, grid computing
, autonomic computing
, and service-oriented architecture (SOA)
. Collectively and individually, their comments reflect the priority IBM puts on technologies.
Of particular note is this quote from Lotus
GM Ambuj Goyal:
"Customer choice has always been important to IBM. It is why we have created a standards based model for delivering products and services across the on demand operating environment. The flexibility a customer gets with IBM software allows them to decide their future IT investments. We adapt to customers needs; we do not expect them to adapt to our technology."
IBM's ongoing commitment to customer choice -- and its corresponding vested interest in supporting open standards -- sets it apart in the industry. For IBM, this commitment is a no-brainer that's critical to the company's success, given the wide array of hardware platforms, operating systems, and environments IBM supports with its broad set of products. It is this focus -- on customer choice, customer wants and needs, and promoting open, cross-platform standards -- that prompted me to give up my independent journalist hat and join the IBM developerWorks team.
Of course IBM, like any company, puts tremendous emphasis on the bottom line. But unlike many of its peers, IBM does not promote a proprietary, vendor lock-in approach. On the contrary, IBM sees its commitment to choice, open standards, and cross-platform interoperability (which is reflected by IBM's wide range of products) as a competitive advantage.
GM Mike Devlin's comments further reflect IBM's continued focus on choice, standards, and interoperability:
"Our customers live in a heterogeneous world. Rational will continue to support non-IBM runtimes, and wherever possible seek to advance standards that allow for maximum interoperability. IBM's work with Microsoft on Web Services, BEA on Simplified Data Objects, and the OMG with UML 2.0 are examples of this effort. ...
"Organizations will have a choice to make as they move into the next generation of software and systems development. That choice is to place their development information into a closed proprietary information model, or to use an open set of frameworks that they have complete access to, that are completely transparent in their implementation. Eclipse is about openness and competing based on value, not on lock-in."
Given that developerWorks strives to support open, cross-platform, standards-based development, I appreciate seeing remarks like these coming from top IBM executives.[Read More
Recently I was helping in the kitchen (a not-so-frequent event in my case) and asked to keep the lid of a pot "open." I interpreted this to mean not completely closed -- loose, with a small gap to let steam escape. I was wrong. The lid needed to remain completely open -- off the pot altogether. (Seems I need to spend more time in the kitchen!)
This got me to thinking about the various degrees of "open" in the software world. Before long I surfed my way to a related document from the National IT and Telecom Agency in Denmark, discussing this very issue and the difference between various types of standards (open vs. proprietary; de facto vs. de jure). It notes in part:
A completely open standard has the following properties:
- It is accessible and free of charge to all
- It remains accessible and free of charge
- It is accessible free of charge and documented in all its details
This document also details a number of factors that must be taken into consideration by "a public player able to choose between standards with varying degrees of openness, or who wishes to influence openness in the future choice of standards."
I'm sure there are a wide variety of definitions and interpretations of open. I think it would be nice, though, if the industry could agree on the term's meaning and use it consistently. (Sun's Jonathan Schwartz seems to have the opposite objective, having written earlier this year that "Only a customer can define the word 'open'" and then immediately contradicting himself and confusing the issue by defining "open" himself -- "open describes the level of effort it takes to enable substitution" -- and concluding Linux is not open.)
I'd particularly welcome comments with links to definitions of "open" that you deem apt or noteworthy. Especially if you're an experienced chef (in the software development kitchen, that is).
This week developerWorks turns 12 years old. As we consider our future and how to best serve our ever-growing community, it also is helpful to take a moment to reflect on the past, and no better time than an anniversary or birthday.
IBM had a much bigger milestone this year -- its 100th birthday. Last week, alluding to the importance of evolution and change, IBM Chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano quoted Tom Watson, Jr., who, when asked a half a century ago how a company can live 50 years, said, "I believe that if an organization is to meet the challenges of a changing world, it must be prepared to change everything about itself but its core beliefs."
In many ways developerWorks has been prepared to change everything, all the while retaining its core beliefs. Changes have included a dramatic broadening and evolving of our topics, the transformation into a social business with an increasingly engaged community members who form groups, share comments and questions, blog, and otherwise interact and communicate, complementing our many how-to articles and tutorials, code, downloads, and other technical resources. We've expanded well beyond text and images to include demos, podcasts, video, and other new media. And at the same time we have reaffirmed our already strong focus on the fundamentals, the core beliefs that remain as critical to our success today as they were 12 years ago: The wants and needs of developers and IT professionals. In short, we know relevance is key. It is a prerequisite to our success in reaching and serving our community.
To help us become even more relevant, we look to guidance from industry analysts, community surveys, trends and web traffic. We talk continuously with our subject matter experts both inside and outside of IBM. We attend conferences and other industry events and talk to more experts. We talk with students and faculty. And we pore over your comments and suggestions on developerWorks.
That's already a robust set of input. Yet, as we consider which topics and technologies to prioritize, I believe we would benefit from even more input from some of you. That's why today I'm inviting you to join a new developerWorks community advisory panel. This is your opportunity to help shape developerWorks and help us be more relevant and valuable for you -- and for millions of your peers in the developer and IT professional community. Panelists will be sent occasional questions and have opportunities to participate in surveys and share your input. Interested? Send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with answers to the following questions:
- How does developerWorks help you today? Specific examples are encouraged.
- How can developerWorks become even more valuable and relevant for you?
- What makes you particularly qualified to be an opinion leader panelist for developerWorks?
- What is your developerWorks display name?
I look forward to another year -- and also to your participation in shaping our future.
Update: See also Scott Laningham's video interview with me about the developerWorks anniversary.
Today developerWorks celebrates its 8th birthday!
We formally launched on Sept. 28, 1999 (after a few months as a public beta site). Eight years later, the fundamental developerWorks mission remains the same: To serve the wants and needs of developers and technical professionals. Our unwavering focus on this goal has helped grow the IBM developer community, which now boasts more than 5.7 million members. It has led to numerous awards, including the elite Jolt Hall of Fame award we received earlier this year. And it has helped us continue to distinguish ourselves from other vendor-sponsored developer sites, with our focus extending beyond our own company's products and services to include content and resources dedicated to open standards and product- and platform-independent content. (For more historical context, see this JavaWorld article and the related IBM press release.)
As we celebrate eight years, I'm sure some of you in the dW community have been with us for quite a while, drawn by our longstanding focus on open, cross-platform technologies such as Java and Linux and XML; some of you have certainly turned to dW for our content and resources (including trial software and other downloads) related to the wide array of products and related technologies offered by IBM brands such as Information Management (DB2), Lotus, Rational, WebSphere. Others have joined the dW community more recently, perhaps as we've added new content and resources on important topics such things as Web 2.0, mashups, and Ajax, for example. And some of you may have discovered dW only very recently, perhaps coming to us through our ever-expanding set of community resources, such as spaces, wikis, podcasts, and blogs -- or even via long-valued discussion forums, our various RSS and Atom feeds, or our new collection of syndication "gizmos."
Whatever your reason, whatever your path, we're glad you've found us. And to help us celebrate our birthday, we welcome your personal story: What brought you to developerWorks, and when? What do you value about developerWorks? Let us know -- simply post a brief comment to this blog entry.
P.S. Today I coincidentally learned that developerWorks' birthday falls on the same date as the birthday of Confucius. As one source notes:
In Taiwan, [Confucius] is honored on the anniversary of his birth - September 28th. His birthday is a legal holiday in Taiwan. It is referred to as Teacher's Day since Confucius is considered the greatest teacher in Chinese history.
Like Confucius, dW strives to teach (though I suppose Confucius did not focus particularly on IT professionals). I'm happy to see dW share a birthday with such a respected teacher. Who knows? Perhaps in a few thousand years, developerWorks' birthday will become an official holiday among IT companies, just as Confucius's birthday is a legal holiday in Taiwan. ;-)[Read More]
Happy Birthday, developerWorks!
This week, IBM developerWorks officially turns five years old. For me at least (and many others, particularly veterans on the developerWorks staff
), it's hard to believe that it was five years ago that developerWorks formally launched, with an initial focus primarily on technologies such as Java, XML, Linux, and Web architecture.
Now, the site runs much broader and deeper than it did five years ago, having undergone tremendous growth. (See "The developerWorks model
" for details about this journey.) The many people on this expanded developerWorks team have worked together to integrate several new technology areas (including Autonomic computing, Grid computing, SOA and Web services, and Wireless) and a variety of Web-based resources for developing with IBM products (DB2, eServer, Lotus, Rational, Tivoli, WebSphere) into the developerWorks site, thereby making the user experience richer than ever. Further complementing the developer technology and product resources is the tightly integrated alphaWorks collection for innovators and early adopters. Developers can also find information on topics such as migration to open standards, sample IT projects and scenarios, On Demand Business, and the IBM Software Development Platform.
The upshot: You'll now find a much broader array of resources within each content area than you did five years ago, ranging from standard how-to articles to comprehensive tutorials, discussion forums, tips, newsletters, downloads, online Webcasts and events, RSS feeds, and more (including blogs like this from the likes of Grady Booch, Bob Sutor, Doug Tidwell, and others). The site has published thousands of articles over the past five years, as well as more than 500 in-depth tutorials. And along the way, developerWorks has won quite a few awards
, including two Jolt Product Excellence Awards
(and -- just in time for our birthday! -- developerWorks last week was honored as the "Best Developers' News Source"
and "Best Technical Support"
provider in Software Development Magazines's annual Readers' Choice Awards.)
The editors for each content area ensure their material is focused on meeting the wants and needs of developers and related technical professionals, striving to help the millions of developerWorks visitors solve problems, do their jobs, and more easily do business with IBM. If you're accustomed to relying on developerWorks for general-purpose content, don't let the added sections focused on IBM products mislead you: developerWorks maintains an ever-growing collection of resources dedicated to fundamental technologies that exist independent of commercial products. And today on developerWorks, you'll find more material than ever dedicated to standards technologies. At the same time, for those of you who are using IBM products, the various brand-specific areas of the site now offer a rich collection of resources specific to the products independent software vendors and other IBM customers use. More of everything
You might glean from this description of the developerWorks program that its staff is highly dedicated to user satisfaction -- and you'd be right. Occasionally, developerWorks receives feedback from visitors who are under the impression that, as a consequence of our massive growth, developerWorks has reduced the amount of general-interest, tech-focused materials. Not so! In fact, the volume of technology content has increased
, and is complemented by the product-specific resources our customers have requested. The site has been redesigned a few times over the past five years as a result of our commitment to user-centered design, giving you more navigation choices through the growing number of content areas. But be assured that our commitment to serving up leading-edge technology resources is stronger than ever. Again, developerWorks has substantially increased its technology content production while simultaneously adding and enriching the product-specific resources that customers have requested. (For more details, read about the growth of developerWorks over its first five years.)
As developerWorks enters its sixth year, you can count on me to encourage developerWorks' growth and evolution, keeping in sync with the evolving community of developers and technical professionals and their wants and needs. And I encourage your ongoing input
. Please don't hesitate to tell us what we're doing right, what could be improved, and how we're helping you with your projects and your career. developerWorks' present to you
In the meantime, turning the tables on birthday traditions, developerWorks has a present for you: a new Power Architecture zone,
which we've launched this week! POWER and PowerPC processors are the brains behind everything from servers and cell phones to routers, game consoles, and supercomputers. Power Architecture technology is supported by a large number of companies, including the original members of the AIM alliance (Apple, IBM, and Motorola), and is an open architecture,
(and has been since it was first released nearly ten years ago). This new developerWorks section on Power Architecture technology will cover everything from chip and device design to embedded systems and device drivers. It will focus on Power Architecture open standards-based hardware components and interfaces, and even free and open source SoC and ASIC design and verification tools.
Be sure to check out our latest addition -- as well as favorites such as Java technology and Linux.
And don't forget to share your feedback
Today developerWorks unveils an update to our design. Key features include a simplified site navigation, via a new masthead and footer on nearly every developerWorks page as well as a much improved search engine -- so that you'll now more easily find all developerWorks materials, including our community materials as well as our professionally developed, award-winning how-to articles and tutorials.
While the masthead and footer stand out as most visible change, the update is much richer, and based on substantial user research.
Now you can also:
- Sign in to developerWorks from the masthead on any developerWorks page, and quickly access your personalized dashboard from the masthead menu. (Select your display name and expand to reveal shortcuts to your profile, personalized community homepage, and a summary of any pending colleague requests or recently received notifications.)
- Syndicate your favorite developerWorks content or URLs more easily, via persistent share tools in the footer.
- Easily follow developerWorks on Facebook or Twitter. (These options are also available in the footer of every page now.)
You'll also see many improvements to some of your favorite developerWorks destinations, such as a simplified developerWorks home page and updates to developerWorks Events, Evaluation software, and Community main pages. We've updated the information in About developerWorks, New to Community, Feeds and syndication and more, and even added a brand new Technical topics landing page to get more info on the IBM product families, IBM solutions and open standards we cover on developerWorks.
With this design, developerWorks also becomes among the first sites within IBM to incorporate elements of the new ibm.com design that marks the company's Centennial anniversary. (To learn more about IBM's 100-year history, see the related IBM Centennial Press kit and the IBM100 site.)
Take a moment to explore our updated web site design -- and please share your feedback via a comment below.
Yesterday, on the heels of the big Forrester Groundswell 2010 award announced last month, developerWorks won another social media award: We were named "best in class" for community development in the AMI-Partners Small and Medium Business Social Media Marketing Awards.
As noted in the official press release from AMI, the awards were designed "to recognize social media efforts that result in tangible, measurable business value." Winners are chosen according to a systematic methodology that involved analyst reviews, interviews, primary research, optimization surveys and user experience.
These recent social media awards reflect how developerWorks has effectively grown and evolved over our 11-year history to incorporate new technologies and tools so that we can best serve your evolving wants and needs. Whether you're new to developerWorks or a longtime visitor, I encourage all developers and IT professionals who haven't already done so to join and participate in the developerWorks community to tap our rich set forums, blogs, wikis, groups, and more -- and see firsthand why we won the two recent social media awards, as well the many other awards detailed in our virtual trophy case.
This week developerWorks employed a new, interactive "mouseover" design treatment
on the developerWorks home page. This enhancement displays the descriptions of each week's featured content when you point your mouse at a title (rather than showing all descriptions simultaneously).
Give it a try, and share your feedback.
Update 1 (1:20 p.m. EST): Seems a bit of a performance issue with the script on our server so for now we may back out this update. Stay tuned.
Update 2 (5:15 p.m. EST): A nit was fixed and seems things are better, so (for now at least) we're retaining the mouseover treatment. We welcome and appreciate your input.[Read More]
Earlier this month, developerWorks Japan was honored as one of the top Web sites in the Japan Web Grandprix, Customer Service (B2B) category.
Congratulations to the entire developerWorks Japan team, including Koh'ichi Miyagawa, developerWorks Japan Managing Editor, as well as to the worldwide developerWorks team members who have supported dW Japan.[Read More]
As developerWorks celebrates 10 years, I reflect on how things have changed ... and how they will continue to change. At the same time, I see as clearly now as 10 years ago that our imperative focus on our community's wants and needs and on open standards and open technologies remains constant, and as important as ever.
In my personal life, in the past ten years I have moved to a different hometown three times. I started, and at last completed, a master's degree. I taught a university course. I got married. I become a father. No doubt I've grown and evolved personally and professionally. Yet all along, I've remained the same person, and all along I've kept the same job at developerWorks.
Similarly, developerWorks during the same 10 years has evolved and changed quite a bit, too. Throughout all the changes, including the incredible growth of technologies we cover, the ways in which we cover them, and the number and variety of people we reach, we have kept the same fundamental goals of serving the wants and needs of developers and IT professionals with a focus on open standards and open technologies.
I've relied in part on this blog as a way to connect and communicate, so it seems fitting to look back at what I've posted here. Reviewing all of my blog entries to date, I quickly notice that the most notable entries also happen to be those that prompted the most comments. Based on that, here are my favorites:
My Top 5 dW blog entries
- dW wins Jolt Hall of Fame award; Booch, Ambler, dW authors also honored Big award, multiple photos, links to some podcasts.
- developerWorks celebrates 8th birthday today Discusses in more detail the innovations and our wide array of community resources. Notes that developerWorks shares its birthday with Confucius.
- Top dW content of 2006 This shows a fine collection of material across a wide array of topics.
- This blog entry, among my first ever for dW, addresses the importance and value of embrace open industry standards while analyzing some public comments from Microsoft's Steve Ballmer about Linux. This topic continues to garner attention; see for example a recent Wall St. Journal article
- Remembering Heidi Carson This tribute to one of our editors, who'd like many of us originally worked as a technology journalist before joining dW. We miss you, Heidi.
As I've said before, I'm honored to continue to be a part of this terrific team of dW colleagues and this thriving community as we celebrate our 10th birthday -- and pleased to see us extend our efforts with My developerWorks to more fully embrace the power of social computing and online communities, and with content that will help us make this planet smarter (including more content and resources focused on key open technologies such as cloud computing).
Be sure to take a look at the various "Top 10"-type lists from various developerWorks editors, and the various interviews with the people who created and launched and supported developerWorks from the beginning. And as always -- just as we stated when we launched even the beta of developerWorks a few months before Sept 1999: We welcome your thoughts and ideas. Please, don't be shy.
This week developerWorks celebrates its 9th birthday!
We formally launched in September of 1999. Today, nine years later, we've grown quite a bit, and matured in many ways.
For but one indication of how far we've come, take a look at our site as it was back in 2001, courtesy of the Internet Archive, and compare it to today's site. Update: Because the Internet Archive site is a tad slow, I'm adding this screenshot here:
But despite all of our growth and evolution, our core developerWorks mission still remains the same: To serve the wants and needs of developers and IT professionals.
We could not be successful without support from many many individuals and groups, including the dedicated staff of developerWorks; IBM management and executives, who provide strong leadership and commitment, and recognize the key role developerWorks plays for the company as well as for the community; and perhaps most of all, the millions of developers and IT professionals across the globe, both outside and inside IBM -- who not only visit the dW site and read articles and tutorials and download trial code, but also write articles and tutorials and tips, develop and share sample code, post questions and answers to our forums and comments to our blogs, create and manage community spaces on specific technical topics, and in large part make developerWorks an award-winning community that is so valuable to so many people, and in so many ways. Thanks to you all.[Read More]
Late last week, Forrester announced that developerWorks won its Groundswell 2010 award in the business-to-business "supporting" category. As noted in the official press release from Forrester Research,
winners were honored "for excellence in effective use of social technologies to advance an organizational or business goal."
Commenting about the awards, Josh Bernoff, senior vice president of idea development at Forrester and co-author of Groundswell and Empowered, said, "Once again, the entrants and winners for this year's Forrester Groundswell Awards amazed us. We were particularly impressed with the diverse and effective social and mobile strategies that organizations are now using to reach consumers, business companies, and their own employees."
Check out our entry at the Groundswell site (which includes nearly 100 positive review comments), plus additional details.
It's always nice to see hard work recognized. Thus I'm happy to report that last week dW received a trophy from Software Development
magazine, honoring IBM developerWorks for providing the industry's "Best Technical Support."
This marks our second consecutive Readers' Choice Award from SD,
a leading industry magazine. Unlike some other reader awards, this one employs measures to prevent ballot-stuffing: "Voting is controlled by sending an invitation to Software Development
readers containing a personal identification number ensuring that votes made using a duplicate PIN can be removed; all suspect votes were eliminated from the data pool." SD
readers also chose IBM as a finalist for "Best Employer (Overall)," and IBM Rational Application Developer as a finalist (and Linux as the winner) for "Most Robust Tool." Eclipse was a finalist for "Best GUI (Overall)." For details, see the press release
from CMP Media's SD
This is the latest of a series of recent industry awards bestowed upon dW
. My thanks goes out to the dedicated developerWorks team for making these awards possible -- and to all of the developers and technical professionals who use developerWorks for your words of encouragement and ongoing feedback. Whether industry awards or individual reader comments, we greatly value your input. And we're particularly motiviated when you share tidbits such as this recent reader comment: "This was wonderfully helpful. If I had not found it, I would have been completely in the dark."
Please do share your praise, as well as your criticism. Let us know how we can best continue to shed light on key technical topics.[Read More
Many of you have likely heard of IBM's Smarter Planet strategy, perhaps from TV advertisements, a Sam Palmisano speech, a Smarter Planet blog, or independent sources such as respected industry analysts and news publications. We at developerWorks have also been addressing the Smarter Planet in several tangible ways.
For example, developerWorks has dedicated significant attention and resources this year to key tools and technologies that enable a smarter planet -- technologies such as Cloud computing (this week alone we're publishing several new articles on Cloud computing), Social Tools, Green IT, and more.
We also recently created a developerWorks Space dedicated to covering Smarter Planet. If you have not yet done so, I encourage you to take a look at, and consider bookmarking, this one-stop resource for developers and IT professionals.
And perhaps as substantial as any offering from developerWorks to date is the new My developerWorks, a.k.a. "the world's geekiest social network" -- a place where developers and IT professionals help one another become smarter. After all, no single person or company has all the answers, and smarter people will go a long way toward creating a smarter planet. With My developerWorks, IBM strives to connect the global community of software developers and make it easier for them to create new technologies based on open standards such as Java technology, Linux and XML.
IBM maintains a significant investment in developerWorks because we recognize the critical role developers and IT professionals play in business, and more broadly, in shaping our planet. Whatever the challenge -- reducing the time and fuel wasted in traffic; providing cleaner water and more efficient food supplies; establishing more intelligent and optimized energy grids; you name it -- IT professionals are bound to play a key role in transforming technologies, businesses, cities and governments, homes and farms, cars, planes and trains to address each challenge and thus make the world a better place. Clearly, one way to work smarter is to more effectively tap into the collective intelligence of your peers, and to collaborate to solve common problems. My developerWorks helps you collaborate and learn from each other. And more broadly, developerWorks continues to add to its collection of thousands of professionally developed how-to articles and tutorials (with recent emphasis on key topics such as Cloud computing) to help you build your skills, work smarter, and master the open, standards-based technologies and products that you employ as you help make the world smarter.
FYI, us developerWorks bloggers have
been posting new entries, but the interface currently equates the top-level blog page for each blogger with the current month's blogs. This has an undesired side effect: When the first of the month arrives, the recent posts dated prior to the first of the month no longer appear on the top-level page.
To see recent blog entries (including items posted as recently as yesterday), simply click on the April Monthly Archives link -- or (for my particular blog) just click here
We'll work on tweaking the user interface appropriately.
dW blogger Bob Sutor offers a series of questions he's recently been considering, along with some reading recommendations:http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/dw_blog_comments.jspa?blog=384&entry=74815
Many moons ago I worked closely with editor Mark Cappel at IDG, first on a monthly Unix trade magazine, Advanced Systems,
and then on one of the industry's first online-only technical trade journals, SunWorld Online
. Mark also played a key role in the launch of JavaWorld
. After these launches, we both were encouraged by the nearly immediate positive feedback of log files showing growing Web traffic. Especially in the first few weeks, the numbers for our technical online journals were quite modest compared to that of the Web's most popular consumer Web sites, but they were growing rapidly. Thus I described us as "decreasingly unpopular."
That was nearly ten years ago. But to this day, Mark, who is now open source zone editor at developerWorks -- working with Elizabeth Scales, Gretchen Moore, and a talented team here at developerWorks who all deserve a big thanks -- still ribs me about that Eeyore
-like remark, so I'll refrain from using it to describe our newly expanded open source zone.
Instead, I refer you to the updated open source zone
, and to Mark's welcome note
. And I also refer you to our new developerWorks DB2 and Cloudscape Open Source Development
For some perspective, here are some (decidedly not Eeyore-like) words of others. First, an excerpt from a press release
(also available here
) -- which also notes that IBM is contributing more than 30 open source projects to SourceForge.net and partnering with Zend Technologies to develop integrated software based on PHP
With today's announcement IBM is also expanding its developerWorks Web site, launching new skills-building resources to help developers more rapidly build solutions based on emerging open source technologies, such as PHP. IBM developerWorks (ibm.com/developerWorks) is IBM's growing online developer community with more than 4.5 million registered users. The site offers tools and education to help developers build and deploy applications across heterogeneous systems.
In conjunction with the partnership announced today between IBM and Zend Technologies, IBM launched a new section on IBM developerWorks devoted to PHP. The new PHP section features technical articles, tutorials and forums to drive further skills and development of PHP, which currently accounts for more than 40 percent of the overall Web programming language market.
Here are some related articles (Thanks to Marc Goubert of alphaWorks
for help in collecting these):http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=60403603http://informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=60403410http://www.crn.com/sections/breakingnews/dailyarchives.jhtml?articleId=60403522http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3485806http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=60403603&tid=5984http://www.d-silence.com/headlines/IBM%20Open%20Source/20630http://www.globetechnology.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050225.gtibm0225/BNStory/Technology/http://developers.slashdot.org/developers/05/02/25/1311249.shtml?tid=169http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/1777.html
Oh, and for more on the PHP angle, here's an excerpt from a related CNet news article
Big Blue's public commitment to PHP is significant because the company has the technical and marketing resources to accelerate usage of the open-source product. IBM's investments in Linux and Java, for example, were crucial to mainstream corporation adoption of those technologies.
This month developerWorks launched the IBM Rational Software Request For Enhancement (RFE) Community
, where you can collaborate with Rational development teams and other product users by searching, viewing, commenting on, submitting, and tracking product RFEs.
Out of the box, this community area enables better transparency about the evolution of Rational products, what's coming next and current priorities, and also will help us more quickly identify and address product enhancements that you and your peers submit.
The developerWorks team was pleased to be able to help when Rational came to us with this request, recognizing the experience and expertise dW has in building community and our being the primary IBM place for developers and IT professionals. I view this as a strong example of how the developerWorks community works well: Members learning the latest about key products and technologies, while at the same time sharing input and requests that enhance the products that the community uses, giving IBM (and each other) another way to listen to and better understand and respond to the community and your wants and needs. We hope to extend and improve upon this model in the coming months.[Read More]
As I prepare to head to Las Vegas for IBM's biggest developer conference of the year (rationalconf2005
), I feel I, along with my colleagues at developerWorks and throughout IBM, can stand a bit taller this month.
This week the developer publication SD Times
has come out with their latest "SD Times 100
" -- a list of "movers and shakers," those few that "demonstrated the greatest amount of leadership." It honors the "organizations, individuals or movements that were talked about, those that created not only great technology but also great buzz." I'm happy to report that IBM developerWorks was named as one of only ten "influencers" and credited with embracing the developer community and raising the bar for everyone else.
More broadly, IBM also was honored in nearly all categories. To wit:
- In Modeling, SD Times declared Rational "the yardstick everyone measures against. 'Atlantic' tied Rational's modeling tools to Eclipse 3.0 and to the rest of the IBM tool chain. Rose (now Rose XDE) remains the de facto standard modeler."
- Tools and Environments: "Agile delivery, big-picture plans drive Big Blue across the Atlantic."
- Embedded and Mobile: "Striding briskly into embedded technologies as it evolves ChipOS."
- Database and Data Access: "Open-source Cloudscape raised bar for Java, app-specific databases."
- Deployment Platforms: "Can't argue with market clout: WebSphere keeps gaining strength
- Test and Performance: "Everyone's tools compete with Rational or support Rational. Or both."
- Collaboration and SCM: "Rational tool set and WSAD form formidable collab environment."
- Influencers: "developerWorks embraced developers, raised bar for everyone else."
Also, Eclipse was named among the top "Tools & Environments": "The newly independent Eclipse community became all the rage with the heady market buzz and third-party momentum for tools and plug-ins. A board packed with competitors makes a level playing field." (It was also nice to see not only dW, but also "The Bazaar" (with a nod to Eric Raymond), the Eclipse Foundation, and the World Wide Web Consortium all recognized as top influencers.
Meanwhile, IBM developerWorks also was recognized in this year's "Software Development Jolt and Productivity Awards
." The judges named dW one of the industry's top four "Websites and Developer Networks."
(Other winners in this category are the O'Reilly Network, developer.* and Java.net.) Here's what one judge had to say about dW:
"DeveloperWorks has been one of my favorite technical sites for years. Big Blue understands the needs of developers very wellnot only does it offer information regarding its products and services, it posts great "how-to" technical articles on a vast array of topics, including how to write better Java, how to be effective with UML 2, how to create better data models, and how to administer Linux successfully. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. ... Even if you don't work in an IBM shop, you'll find developerWorks a valuable resource."
Between these awards and the flurry of good news on the open standards front of late (the IBM moves to acquire GlueCode Software
, formally support FireFox
for use by IBMers, and formally encourage, not just allow, IBMers to blog
), I'd say it's been a good month already -- and I haven't even gotten to Vegas yet!
Hope to see many of you next week as I blog from rationalconf2005
(aka the Rational Software Developer Conference, aka RSDC). And I will hardly be the sole conference blogger...[Read More
Last week at the 17th Annual Jolt Product Excellence Awards (dubbed "the Oscars of our industry") ceremony at the SD West conference in Silicon Valley, IBM developerWorks received what many agree is the software development industry’s highest honor for a product or resource: The Jolt Hall of Fame award. Here are a couple of trophy photos (courtesy dW open source editor Mark Cappel):
The “Hall of Fame inductees are consistent winners, whose high quality has been proven and maintained over time,” the Jolt awards site notes. Only one inductee is recognized with this award each year. This year the judges unanimously selected developerWorks, specifically praising our rich collection of quality how-to articles and tutorials.
Jolt awards ceremony host Craig Newmark (of Craigslist) introduced the award:
The Hall of Fame always generates lively discussion amongst the judges ... but this year, there was a quiet consensus. It was pretty unanimous that it was time to induct this giant into the JOLT Hall of Fame. This year’s winner is a treasure trove of IT-related topics and technologies and often has better technical articles than commercial publications and in many instances, is one of the few places anything is available. This year’s inductee is: IBM developerWorks.
I was thrilled to be at the awards ceremony in person to receive the award. (Don't let the serious expression fool you.)
In my brief moment on stage, I thanked the judges and thanked CMP Technology (which runs SD West, a.k.a. the "Software Development West 2007 Conference and Expo," and publishes Dr. Dobb's Journal). I then congratulated the editors and broader team at developerWorks who all play key roles in our success, and the many authors -- both inside and outside IBM -- who share their technical expertise in our thousands of how-to articles and tutorials.
I also thanked the leadership at IBM for embracing and supporting what is an unorthodox vision and strategy for a vendor site, one that I’ve championed since coming from JavaWorld at IDG in 1999 to become founding editor-in-chief of developerWorks: Prioritize the wants and needs of the developers. That is, focus not simply on company messages, or promotion of company products, but more broadly on any information and resources that are critical to developers.
Looking back, I’m impressed by how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown in the last seven or so years. In 1999 we had about a half dozen zones (sections of the site that in many ways each resemble a stand-alone online magazine). The press release announcing developerWorks and the related article about dW's launch that appeared in CNN describe our focus on providing “product- and platform-independent information” and our “rich blend of tools, code, tips, news, tutorials, and how-to articles, all based on cross-platform technologies and strategies.” Those statements, as well as our open, cross-platform, standards-based focus, remain true today –- but we’ve expanded considerably.
We now host three times as many zones, covering a wide array of open technologies as well as IBM products. We now offer four region-specific, localized sites (dW China, dW Japan, dW Korea, dW Russia), in addition to our global site based in the U.S. We offer an ever-growing array of community-driven resources, greatly expanding our discussion forums and adding more resources, including blogs, podcasts, and our recently announced community-oriented developerWorks exchange. (dW will offer more on the community/Web 2.0 front in the coming weeks, too. Stay tuned.) And dW is not an online-only entity; we offer a rich set of tech briefings as well as other events and offline resources. The result: In our short history, developerWorks has grown into a community of (at last count) 5.7 million registered developers.
The bottom line: This simple strategy we embraced in 1999 has worked amazingly well and resonated with developers -- including many who, at least at first, did not (or as my bosses may say, "did not yet") have interest in IBM products or services. I thank then-director Gina Poole and manager Dirk Nicol for believing in and strongly supporting this enlightened vision, and the continued support from our current management, including Scott Bosworth and Kathy Mandelstein, as well as the continued support of our stakeholders and executives throughout IBM, including Steve Mills and Sam Palmisano. As evidenced by this Hall of Fame honor, the strategy continues to serve us well.
Equally important is the talented staff at developerWorks. Without their dedication and hard work, even the best strategy would fail. Kudos to each and every member of the dW team for your contributions to our success. This award honors you.
And most importantly, I thank the developer community that has come to rely on developerWorks as a trusted resource, and whose members (I hope) occasionally tell their colleagues about the great stuff we offer. We exist to serve you. And we encourage you to participate: Post to our discussion forums. Read and comment on our blogs and articles. Rate our content. Subscribe to our newsletters. Use our Atom and RSS feeds. Download our trial software and technologies. Use the many services and alpha technologies offered by our sister site, alphaWorks. Attend our tech briefings. Suggest content ideas or articles (including content you may write) to the dW editors. Or, if you like, just add your comments here.
In any case, thanks for your continued participation in the developerWorks community. We hope the next seven years are as rewarding as the last seven, and hope you'll join us on the journey forward.
dW and IBM also enjoyed other big honors at the Jolt awards event. The photo below reflects three IBM awards. Shown here are (clockwise from the top) award recipients IBM Fellow Grady Booch, who won the exclusive Dr. Dobb's "Excellence in Programming Award" (pictured in the poster); yours truly, dW EIC Michael O'Connell, holding the developerWorks Jolt Hall of Fame Award; and book author and IBM Rational Practice Leader Scott W. Ambler, holding his Jolt Productivity Award for the technical book Refactoring Databases he co-authored with Pramod J. Sadalage.
Congrats to Grady and Scott!
Two frequent developerWorks authors (but not IBM employees) also were among the co-authors of the technical book that won the Jolt Product Excellence award. Congratulations to dW contributors Brett McLaughlin and Gary Pollice, who (along with David West) co-wrote the winning title, Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design. And congrats to all of the Jolt winners.
Update, 3 Apr 2007: Today Scott Laningham, dW podcasts host and editor, led a lively discussion about the history and significance of the Jolt awards with Rosalyn Lum, who manages the Jolt awards; Larry O'Brien, veteran Jolt awards judge who helped launch the awards in 1990; and myself. Listen to the chat -- or read the transcript -- for more insight and perspective on the awards. (You can also read about the very first Jolt awards.)[Read More]
Want to enrich your Web site with more useful technical content and resources? developerWorks wants to help.
By simply copying and pasting a few lines of HTML code (customized based on your preferences) you can instantly add the latest and greatest dW info to your site. It's easy to do. Just go to our Build your own feeds
page, select the topics and types of content you want in your feed. We then generate the HTML code for you to grab and paste into your Web site, so you can include a live dW feed containing our latest content and resources on whatever topics you select. That's all there is to it!
For a more detailed explanation, check out our latest on demand demo
, presented by Doug Tidwell, which will walk you through the simple process step by step.
I just built a custom feed with this brand new feature myself. I selected technology topics that particularly relate to open standards and cross-platform development, and I chose two content types, articles and tutorials. I got a feed that displayed ten recent articles and tutorials, nicely formatted. Give it a try yourself!Don't want HTML? Get Atom & RSS format
If you want to incorporate our content into your own personal news reader, you can also create custom feeds in RSS and Atom formats at the same Build your own feeds
page on developerWorks.[Read More
This month eBay unveiled its new "Developer Challenge," open to both individuals and teams. The best original app by an individual will win $5,000.
Check out the details
-- including help finding an idea to build
. If you want some more help, see related developerWorks content, including the series of tutorials Develop apps with Web services and the eBay SDK
Today IBM Rational launched the new, version 7 batch of its desktop products (aka the Caspian release products). These Rational Software Delivery Platform desktop products, based on Eclipse 3.2, are designed to help development teams better design, implement and manage the delivery of software architectures. See the IBM Rational Web site
for the brand's official announcement and perspective.
Of particular note: These products are based on Eclipse 3.2. The fact that IBM used Eclipse as the foundation for its key set of developer products speaks strongly to its commitment to the Eclipse platform. Also of interest are the comments from my colleague Simon Johnston, who's already mentioned the launch in his blog today, and noted also that thanks in part to Simon's own efforts, "IBM [now] has a single method for the development of SOA solutions, whether you buy that method for your own use or you contract with IBM services; you the customer get the value of the combined experience of IBM's product and services communities."
Across developerWorks we've published a number of new resources related to the new V7 products:
Check out the new resources, and in particular the free V7 desktop trial software (Application Developer, Software Architect, Systems Developer, Software Modeler, Functional Tester, Manual Tester), and let us know what you think.
Last week there was quite a bit of news about the work of one of our own, developerWorks community program manager Rawn Shah. Rawn has helped develop -- and is co-teaching -- a new course at the University of Arizona this semester entitled "MIS 300 - Web 2.0: Maintaining and Developing Online Communities." The course description reads:
Online social networking and communities have become a big role in how organizations interact within themselves as well as with external partners. Developing a healthy community can lead to new business opportunities, improved customer relations, as well as improved communications to the world. Online social network sites already claim over 300 million members worldwide in public sites that are starting to turn into a new generation of b2b and b2c business collaboration and brokerage sites. This course investigates the technologies, methods and practices towards developing online communities, and how this knowledge and these skills are applied to businesses.
Kudos to Rawn Shah and the others at IBM and at the U of A who worked to get this class in place and to promote it.
For more details, see Rawn's related Wiki, which includes the course syllabus, FAQ, Resources, and more, as well as a collection of related news articles -- which includes for example this Dr. Dobbs article -- that were published last week, and a link to last week's related press release announcing the course.
It was not long ago when yours truly took a graduate course at UNC-Chapel Hill (perhaps the first of its kind anywhere, and in its debut semester at UNC in any case) entitled "Virtual Communities." That course, taught by the amazing Paul Jones, director of ibiblio.org (formerly metaLab, formerly SunSITE), included guest lectures by people like Howard Rheingold (the WELL) and Brewster Kahle (the Wayback Machine) and focused quite a bit on more established "technologies for 'community building' such as listservs, discussion boards, fora, and portals," and blogs and perhaps wikis; blogs were just getting big and podcasts were still in their infancy. Shortly after that, we started expanding our "community" effort at developerWorks; we rolled out dW blogs, and we've also launched dW podcasts, expanded and enriched our discussion forums ... and continue to improve. Having Rawn take on the full-time role as dW community lead was another positive step. I know Rawn has a lot more in store for developerWorks, and I'm sure his teaching the U of A course will only enhance his expertise -- and thus our ability to do more for the developerWorks community and more with Web 2.0 technologies.
Meantime, it's great to see us helping students via this course, as well as the many other efforts of IBM University Relations. Students -- like professionals -- are turning to the content and resources at developerWorks to help them learn, help them complete tasks. The Dr. Dobbs article cited above mentions but one rich example: our Web development zone, which focuses on open, cross-platform, standards-based Web 2.0 technologies and social networking and online community tools, including Ajax, Atom, mashups, PHP, RSS, Wikis, and much more. Lots of helpful tutorials, how-to articles, and other resources to help students and professionals alike.[Read More]
When I'm not doing my day job (or blogging), I spend part of my, ahem, copious free time at the University of North Carolina here in Chapel Hill. As part of my pursuit of a master's degree, I've had occasion to do some research related to ibiblio.org
, a Web site that offers a little bit of just about everything and refers to itself as "the public's library and digital archive." (Some of you may know of ibiblio from one of its former names, "SunSITE" or "MetaLab." See the Wired
article "Where Sharing Isn't a Dirty Word
" for more about ibiblio.)
Anyhow, ibiblio not only offers collections of materials that contributors provide or create. The ambitious team there also is working on what sounds like a nifty project: Lyceum
, a blogging initiative that involves "a stand-alone open-source application, written in PHP, utilizing the MySQL database as a backend." Of particular note: While "it's like blogger.com or livejournal.com in that it custom-generates weblogs," it promises flexibility in terms of deployment. "Lyceum is open source. You control the installation. You define the blogsphere. And with Lyceum's intelligent toolsets, conversation within the blogsphere is facilitated."
The project is not complete, but sounds promising. I look forward to learning more about Lyceum -- as well as another ibiblio project, Osprey
, a peer-to-peer enabled content distribution system.
Now, however, I have to get back to my term papers...
A recent CNet article, "User exchanges: It's good to share
," describes how even proprietary software is reaping rewards by embracing open source development. Here's particularly notable quote from this article: "[S]oftware makers who skip user exchanges miss valuable opportunities for boosting customer loyalty and improving product development, Macromedia [vice president of product management Jeff] Whatcott said."
A colleague of mine at IBM, Craig Lordan, also was interviewed for this article. Here's an excerpt:
IBM has offered its Sandbox site for many years, allowing customers using its Lotus office software to swap add-ons and customizations.
Craig Lordan, a lead developer for IBM's Lotus Workplace division, said the site started as a promotional vehicle but has turned into more of a community venue.
"It's a neat way to show how Lotus customers are doing things," he said. "A lot of the things there are offshoots from discussions between users" about what kind of new functionality they want. "They put something together and share it with everyone else," Lordan said. "We really want to encourage that kind of open-source feel."
Lotus is not only a long time provider of this "open-source feel" Sandbox. It's also committed to adopt open, cross-platform standards as the foundation of its commercial products. This commitment to open standards is reflected in recent product announcements and releases. For example, see our recent developerWorks interview with Doug Wilson on the IBM Workplace Client Technologies
Check out the Lotus Sandbox at http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/sandbox.nsf
. ALSO: DB2 users wanting to exchange code should see the Sandbox-like "Examples Trading Post" for DB2 for z/OS and OS/390 at http://www-306.ibm.com/software/data/db2/zos/exHome.html
Modified on by Michael_OConnell
I've been focused lately on helping kids learn to code, guiding grade-school students in coding activities at schools and public libraries, as I believe coding skills and experience, as well as an understanding of general computer science concepts, is critical to the success and competitiveness of tomorrow's young professionals. Not just future developers and IT professionals, but nearly all professionals benefit from understanding how technology works and can be applied to given challenges and opportunities. Those who learn to code also build self-confidence and enhance key traits such as persistence and problem-solving skills, and develop computational thinking skills.
“Computational thinking involves solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior,” notes Jeannette Wing, who popularized the term “computational thinking” in part with her 2006 article in the journal Communications of the ACM. Computational thinking, Wing wrote, "represents a universally applicable attitude and skill set everyone, not just computer scientists, would be eager to learn and use." In other words, Wing wrote, "the use of computational concepts, methods and tools would transform the very conduct of every discipline, profession and sector. Someone with the ability to use computation effectively would have an edge over someone without."
I'd imagine most developerWorks community members already recognize that the value of learning coding, computer science, and computational thinking transcends professions well beyond software developers and even IT professionals. What's encouraging is how this perspective has spread broadly to the general population. Increasingly, parents want -- even demand -- that their children learn such things, and K-12 teachers seek to provide their students with opportunities to learn such things (often despite challenges that mandated curriculum can create, making it difficult to find time amidst all the required lessons and tests to insert coding and computer science learning). As I've proposed launching activities with public and private grade schools and public libraries, I've been met with strong and growing support and appreciation. Just one example: When launching a new coding club this spring at one local school, I received 50% more registration requests than I could accept.
For those of you who want to help kids learn coding and computer science (or help others including teachers and parents do so) -- and for any youngsters who may be reading this themselves, I encourage you to use the following helpful resources:
- Scratch -- While Code.org emphasizes learning coding concepts, Scatch focuses on creativity and advancing technology as something kids learn to use as a tool of active creation rather than primarily a means of passive consumption or entertainment. This emphasis is reflected in the Scratch slogan: "“Create stories, games, and animations. Share with others around the world.” In some ways -- the drag-and-drop development environment, as well as some tutorials -- Scratch is similar to Code.org. But Scratch provides more of a free-form, wide open environment vs. a highly structured set of tasks and puzzles, fostering creativity and encourages users to share their creations with others, who can then "remix" the shared apps, modifying, extending, and customizing them as they like. Scratch also lets users download and install an editor so they can work on projects without an internet connection (and whenever site maintenance issues cause the online Scratch editor to be unavailable).
I look forward to sharing more resources and experiences that I hope will help more kids learn to code. Whether they become IT professionals or not, our next generation will benefit greatly from the experience.
P.S. IBM Bluemix also can be used by youngsters! Take a look at this brief video Overview of IBM Bluemix for Kids by Ruth Willenborg and Tucker
As some of you may have already learned (as CNet
, and others have reported, and as we've mentioned elsewhere), earlier this month, developerWorks made it much easier for you to search our rich collection of code with help from both Krugle
. Special thanks to our own David Salinas, who worked through many issues (technical, legal, and otherwise) to help make this happen.
I expect many of you will find this enhancement of developerWorks most useful. The indexed code includes:
- code from more than 1,400 articles (and we plan to expand code search to our full collection of articles)
- more than 33,000 individual source code files
- more than 4.6 million lines of code
One nifty element of the search function: Not only can you quickly search, find and view code on developerWorks to help your with your projects, you can also annotate source code with your own comments and create direct bookmarks to a single or group of individual files. And search results also incorporate the context of the article, as well as a link back to the article that explains and employs the code, vs. simply the code in isolation.
For more info, see Scott Laningham's blog -- which links to our related dW podcast discussions about Krugle code search on developerWorks -- and see also the related page with details regarding developerWorks source code on Koders.com.
Bottom line: You'll now find developerWorks code via your searches whether you use Koders or Krugle. And if you want to search developerWorks code specifically, you can easily do so on the developerWorks site: Simply use the standard dW search and then, on the results page, click on "Sample Code results (hosted by Krugle)." Alternatively, you can bookmark this example results page (in which I searched for "open"and found 4440 matching files) and modify the search term there.
Happy code searching.